September 25th, 2016

Illegal fishing and litter threatens Coventry wildlife

A RISE in illegal fishing, camping and littering are threatening wildlife in a Coventry nature reserve.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has issued an urgent plea after a spate of incidents has unsettled local wildlife in the Stoke Floods reserve in Binley.

Despite clear signs telling visitors that fishing is prohibited in the 7 hectare site of tranquil lakes, reedbeds and woodland, the rules are regularly ignored say Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

And the Trust, which manages the reserve, said there is ‘real concern’ that nesting swans and other species of birds and invertebrates could be adversely affected by the activities – with this time of year being a crucial breeding period for many animals.

Karl Curtis, Reserves and Community Engagement Manager for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, described Stoke Floods as ‘a very special and inspiring reserve’ on account of its wealth of local wildlife.

He said: “Whilst we appreciate and encourage people to enjoy their local outdoor spaces, it is very important that activities don’t have a negative impact on wildlife.

“It would be wonderful if the people who are fishing and camping respected the reserve just like many of the local residents and visitors to the site do.”

The nature reserve which is owned by Coventry City Council and managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is found adjacent to the river Sowe in the south area of the city.

The Council’s Parks Team has also added its voice to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s pleas – asking residents to refrain from fishing so they can keep the ‘beautiful site’ safe for flora and fauna.

Michelle Tyrtania, a spokesperson from the Parks Team added: “There are many sites in Coventry where people can fish including at Wyken Slough Nature Park, Coombe Abbey, Coventry Canal and Ryton Pools.

“If anyone sees Stoke Floods being used for fishing or camping they can report it to us by emailing BSCwhitley@coventry.gov.uk.”

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